Equestrianism: Angot forces Armstrong to settle for second

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The Independent Online

Reynald Angot, a member of the winning French team in last year's World Games, gained his biggest win so far this year when he rode Tlaloc to victory here in yesterday's British Grand Prix at the Royal International Horse Show. Last to go, the 27-year-old defeated Britain's Mark Armstrong on Graf Gold by a decisive margin of 3.33sec.

"The important thing for me was to go clear," Armstrong said. "I knew Angot was a very fast horse and, whatever I did, Reynald would probably go faster."

The Frenchman also went clear, leaving Armstrong as runner-up, one place ahead of the Dutchman Jan Tops on Roofs.

Angot's mount will be part of the French team in today's Nations Cup, whereas the British team horses were restedin preparation for this important contest. Derek Ricketts, the Great Britain team manager, has named his four riders: Nick Skelton, on Arko III, Scott Smith, on Cabri d'Elle, Richard Davenport, on Luc, and Robert Smith, on Mr Springfield. They are drawn to go third of the eight teams, with Ireland going first.

Robert Whitaker had the satisfaction of trouncing Robert Smith and his uncle, Michael Whitaker, in the Coyle Hamilton Chase on Karina by 3.77sec.The brave little mare had been intended as a mount for Robert's father, John Whitaker, but the owner, Liz Hunt, is now more than happy to see Karina in such accord with the 20-year-old son.

ROYAL INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW (Hickstead, Sussex): British Grand Prix: 1 Tlaloc (R Angot, Fr) clear, 46.14sec; 2 Graf Gold (M Armstrong, GB) clear, 49.47; 3 Roofs (J Tops, Neth) clear, 49.63. Coyle Hamilton Chase: 1 Karina (R Whitaker, GB) clear, 72.24sec; 2 Gerry Maguire (R Smith, GB) clear, 76.01; 3 Fleur (M Whitaker, GB) clear, 76.94.